Among the West Virginia hills, our family has a tropical tradition originating along the shores of Key West! Sound like an unlikely combination? Add toddlers, teenagers, cousins, neighbors, s’mores, and guitars and you’re instantly in the Hott Family’s nightly tradition: SUNSET CELEBRATION!
Secluded among the trees on our mountain ridge, we were first unaware of our sunsets until a devastating Parkinson’s diagnosis for my young husband in 2008 found us in need to renovate our home. After making some accommodations for a first floor master suite and planning needs for future facilities, we managed to shake up our rooms and re+arrange not only our house but our daily lives. Funny how the news of a chronic illness can make a seemingly smooth life change to something shaky as a “fiddler on the roof”! Just as this classic play is immersed in traditions of faith, Fiddler on the Roof reminds me that in an instant, what we believe to be God’s plan can change and the only constant we have to hold on to is our faith.
Dinner (or any meal, for that matter) at the Hott House is an event for anyone! Maybe that is why I so enjoyed sharing the VBS story when Jesus cooked fish on the shore for breakfast last week. It makes this Mom of Faith’s heart happy to have people over for a meal. A few short years ago, I served just leftover spaghetti and sweet peas to an unexpected guest. On a late summer day, he gathered on my back deck for dinner with the Hott family. The kids climbed all over the place; the cat sat in his lap; someone spilled their drink; and I ran out of noodles. Dan gave up his seat so that our guest enjoyed the best view of the sun setting over these West Virginia hills.
The next day, our guest enjoyed sunset from his own personal seat… in Heaven! What an honor to share our tradition with him on his last day on earth.
I will share a picture from our home, where nightly one hears Hott kids yelling “Time for sunset!” I think God created the Hott’s Sunset Celebration to add balance to our “shaky” lives and get us to recognize simple beauty in the little things. When I watch the big ball of flames settle beyond the soft blue ridge mountains, it reminds me mostly to thank God for another day because living with something like Parkinson’s in the house makes me realize that my hott-hubby is as healthy as he is right now – t.o.d.a.y. But… aren’t we all?
And, only God knows what tomorrow will bring. So, each evening when He lights up my house, I hear God whisper: “Excuse me, can I tell you something? Stop worrying about tomorrow. I’ll be right here with you ‘no matter what’!”
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give him thanks in a song.” – Psalm 28:7
And… I will give Him thanks for the sunsets… in a blog.
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